Netherlands using more renewable energy, mostly biomass

Biomass power plant

In 2019 the Netherlands' energy consumption from renewable sources grew by 16 percent compared to the year before. A total of 181 petajoules of the country's energy came from renewable sources. More than half of that increase was due to more biomass, mainly due to power plants using more biodiesel and biogasoline, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday. 

Last year, 8.6 percent of the Netherlands total 2,100 petajoules energy consumption came from renewable sources. In 2018 the Netherlands also used a total of 2,100 petajoules of energy, of which 7.4 percent came from renewable sources. Agreements made in the European Union state that 14 percent of the Netherlands' energy must be renewable. That goal was not achieved last year.

Biomass is the largest source of renewable energy in the Netherlands, accounting for 60 percent of the total. Energy consumption from this source increased by 15 percent to 106 petajoules last year. This is partly because coal-fired power plants started using more biomass in 2019 - an increase stimulated by subsidy. Biomass accounted for 5.06 percent of the total energy consumption last year. 

The consumption of solar energy increased significantly in 2019, by 37 percent to 20 petajoules. The installed capacity of solar panels for solar power increased with a massive 51 percent, from 2,300 megawatts to 6,800 megawatts - a record amount, according to the stats office. Solar power made up 0.94 percent of the total energy consumption last year. 

The consumption of wind energy increased by 7 percent to 39 petajoules. The installed capacity of wind turbines increased from 4,400 megawatts at the end of 2018 to 4,500 megawatts at the end of last year. Wind energy made up 1.85 percent of last year's energy consumption.